A 24-year-old reporter for the Financial Times, Paul McClean, has died after apparently being attacked by a crocodile on holiday in Sri Lanka.
The paper reports that cause of death has yet to be established but that officials believe he was attacked by a crocodile.
FT managing editor James Lamont told the paper: “Our thoughts are with his family, friends and loved ones. We are in touch with them, doing all we can to help during this difficult time.”
Lamont told the paper he was “a talented, energetic and dedicated young journalist” who had “a great career ahead of him at the FT”.
McClean joined the paper two years ago as a graduate trainee. He most recently working as a reporter based in London.
The FT said in its report: “In his previous posting to Brussels, McClean established a reputation as a rising star with in-depth exclusives including his revelation that Britain would have to renegotiate no fewer than 759 treaties with 168 countries after its vote to leave the EU. The startling figures were widely followed by other media outlets, including John Oliver’s satirical show, Last Week Tonight.”
Brussels bureau chief Alex Barker told the FT: “Paul was an inspiration to us all in the Brussels bureau, turning out some of the most original, insightful and deeply researched journalism on Brexit since the referendum. He had a rare gift: an eye for hidden stories, writing flair and the charm to make people tell him anything and everything.”
Katie Martin, head of FastFT, told the paper he was “a warm, funny person and a talented young journalist with a curious mind . . . a joy to be around, truly, with an impish sense of humour”.
He had a first class honours degree in French from Oxford and his last piece was an analysis feature on the challenges facing the Champagne industry.
Financial Times editor Lionel Barber said on Twitter: “Paul McClean was an outstanding young journalist with a great future at the FT. We will miss him sorely
Acting general secretary of the National Union of Journalists Seamus Dooley said: “Paul was a member of our FT chapel, a journalist with a career full of promise and a highly regarded colleague. On behalf of the NUJ I would like to extend sympathy to his family, friends and colleagues. Our thoughts and the thoughts of NUJ members everywhere will be with them at this sad time. The tragic circumstances add to the shock at his untimely death.”
Steve Bird, father of the NUJ FT chapel, said: “Like many at the FT, I knew Paul as a great colleague and journalist. Paul was an important part of our chapel and engaged with our recent campaign highlighting the need to do more for trainees. In his two years at the FT, Paul made a big impact and won a lot of friends. He will be missed very much.”